Robot sorts construction waste
Construction Contractor Share
A new robot that automatically categorizes waste from construction and demolition projects could enable valuable raw materials to be recycled instead of ending up in landfill, according to a report by New Scientist. ZenRobotics' innovative Recycler robot uses data from a combination of visual sensors, metal detectors, weight measurements and tactile feedback from a robotic arm to pick out likely pieces of refuse and categorize them. More
NDA's members respond to New Disaster Response Program
A growing number of NDA regular member firms have responded to the association's disaster response survey and provided the organization with information about the assets they would be willing to provide in times of a major national disaster. The National Demolition Association forwarded a questionnaire to every regular member explaining the association's new Disaster Response Program and requesting information about equipment and personnel that members could commit in times of a major national disaster. The association's new National Disaster Response Program is designed to provide the nation with access to demolition companies interested in responding to large natural or man-made disasters. The NDA intends to set up a national database of member companies available to respond to large events similar to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. The goal is to be able to identify interested member firms that can provide equipment and manpower in a timely manner.
The NDA intends to set up an 800 number that disaster response coordinators on the federal and state level can access to alert demolition companies to their needs. The NDA hopes to provide qualified second response capabilities on a national basis for large disasters while assuring prompt payment and limited liability.
New standard aids in validating, calibrating instruments used to assess slip-resistance
J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. Share
A new ASTM International test method will be used to provide a reference standard against which to validate and calibrate the performance of tribometers — instruments used to assess the potential of humans to slip while walking on various surfaces. Developed by an ASTM International subcommittee that focuses on pedestrian/walkway safety and footwear, the new standard — known as ASTM F2508, Practice for Validation and Calibration of Walkway Tribometers Using Reference Surfaces — will provide the foundation for the development of test methods to establish basic requirements for accuracy, reproducibility and reporting of different classifications of tribometers under various environmental and experimental conditions. More
Former coal mine in Europe transformed into a shining cultural center
How can the carbon era transcend without completely eradicating history? 51n4e, a Europe-based architecture firm in Brussels, solves this crucial design problem with their stunning C-MINE renovation. Formerly the Winterslag coal mine, the old red brick building has been transformed into a 5,000-square-meter cultural center and tourist attraction. Instead of doing away with the relics that are emblematic of a sooty past, such as the large mechanical equipment, the firm chose to integrate them into the upgraded facility as a reminder of evolution. More
NDA exhibits at ConExpo/ConAg and Brownfields 2011
The National Demolition Association recently exhibited at the 2011 ConExpo/ConAg show in Las Vegas the EPA/ICMA's Brownfields 2011, April 3-5 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. New President, Don Rachel, and Secretary, Peter Banks, led a team of NDA members manning the association's booth at the highly successful 2011 ConExpo/ConAg event at the Las Vegas Convention Center in mid-March. Designed to educate attendees to the demolition process and the role of the National Demolition Association, the NDA's booth also attracts a considerable number of potential new members to the organization.
The NDA has long believed that Brownfields remediation and facilities decontamination is a major market for the demolition industry and exhibiting at the Brownfield Conference, run jointly by the U.S. EPA and the International City/County Management Association, helps educate potential clients to the environmental services that the modern demolition contractor can bring to a Brownfields sites. More
NDA provides safety training assistance to United Nations program in Haiti
Just beginning to tackle the devastation to their housing and infrastructure after the earthquake in Haiti, the Caribbean nation is looking for assistance to evaluate structures throughout the country and train their own people to deal with those buildings that may be saved or demolished. After meeting with United Nations personnel at the NDA's 38th Annual Convention at The Mirage in Las Vegas in March, Former NFDC and EDA President David Sinclair, who also served as the NDA's international director for many years, was recently retained by the U.N. to assist in developing an inventory of what structures can be saved and which ones need to be removed in Haiti. Sinclair will be working with an international team of consultants and engineers to aid the U.N. and the Haitian government with this effort.
To assist Sinclair, the U.N. and the Haitian government, the NDA has provided a complete education and safe work practice training program for use with this effort. Copies of the NDA's comprehensive demolition safety program including its Demolition Safety Manual; HazCom Program; Demolition Safety Talks, Lead-in-Construction Training Program; Disaster Site Worker Training & Certification Program; Starting Out Right new Employee Orientation and Skid Steer Safety videos; the Demolition textbook; and all of the association's appropriate environmental programs, in both English and Spanish, have been forwarded to the U.N. and Sinclair in Port au Prince, Haiti.
The NDA also contacted the European Demolition Association in Brussels, U.K., to request assistance from the French Demolition Association to provide safety training material in French for use in Haiti. This effort is part of a global outreach with the NDA's sister demolition association around the world to provide whatever assistance is necessary to help with safety training and demolition. NDA members have recently visited Chile and New Zealand to evaluate situations in those two earthquake-damaged countries and see how the NDA can provide assistance. Both the EDA and the NDA are interested in providing similar assistance to the people of Japan following their devastating earthquake as soon as it requested.
Steel import permits down
American Recycler Share
Based on the Commerce Department's most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis data, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported that steel import permit applications for February totaled 1,815,000 net tons. This was a 13 percent decrease from the 2,081,000 permit tons recorded in January and an 11 percent decrease from the January preliminary imports total of 2,048,000 NT. More
NDA announces enlarged booth size at 39th Annual Convention in San Antonio
The National Demolition Association's 39th Annual Convention at the new Hyatt Regency on the Riverwalk and the Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio from March 11-14, 2012, will feature enlarged booth space for the event's exhibitors. The NDA has long wanted to adopt the "industry-standard" 10 X 10 booths and the layout of the 116,000 square feet that the association is using in the Gonzalez center will allow the organization to do this. It will mean that from now on the NDA's booths will be 10 X 10 used by most conferences and conventions around the world. The enlarged booth areas will provide exhibitors to show their products and services to the assembled demolition entrepreneurs.
Exhibitor information for the NDA's 39th Annual Convention, highlighting the Gonzalez Center, the new larger booth space and adjusted rates will be available in midsummer.
Management tip of the day: Need to broaden your focus?
Harvard Business Review via Reuters Share
Some leaders have trouble focusing their world view, often looking through a narrow, self-absorbed lens that makes everything about themselves, says Harvard Business Review. "The lens through which leaders view the world can help or hinder their ability to make good decisions. If your lens is too narrow, you risk making everything all about yourself or your team. While it can be helpful to see the fine points, you might be missing the big picture. More
NDA schedules board meetings in Tucson, Ariz., and Asheville, NC
NDA President, Don Rachel of Rachel Contracting in St. Michael, Minn., has selected Tucson, Ariz., and Asheville, N.C. as the sites for the association's summer and fall board of directors meetings in 2011. The dates for the Tucson, Ariz., board meeting at the beautiful Marriott Star Pass Resort are June 24-25. In addition to planning for the next fiscal year and voting on the NDA's annual budget, the summer board meeting will feature a trip to Caterpillar's Tinaja Hills Demonstration and Learning Center in Green Valley, Ariz., on June 24. Part of President Rachel's program to bring regular and associate members together, the trip to CAT's Proving Ground will provide attendees with an opportunity to look at Caterpillar's newest equipment and technology.
President Rachel has selected Asheville, N.C., the home of Volvo Construction Equipment in North America, as the site for the fall board of directors meeting. Similar to the summer directors' meeting in Tucson, Ariz., the fall board meeting will feature a tour of Volvo's North American headquarters in Asheville, N.C., as well as a trip to their equipment proving ground. The dates for the fall board meeting are Oct. 7-8 at the Grove Park Inn. The NDA hopes to schedule a tour of the historic Biltmore Hotel, summer home of the Vanderbilt's in western North Carolina as well as a dinner on Oct. 8 following the board meeting.
President Rachel encourages all NDA members to attend the board of directors quarterly meetings and participate in planning for the industry and the association's future. For more information about the board of directors' meetings, contact NDA headquarters at 1.800.541.2412. More
New study finds benefits to building concrete roads
Journal of Commerce Share
In the ongoing debate over which pavement material is best for roads and highways — concrete or asphalt — a new study gives the nod to concrete. While that conclusion doesn't surprise the executive at the Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Ontario, the third-party report goes further than previous initiatives in its analysis of the two competitive materials. More
NDA Safety Committee nears completion of Demolition Safety Manual upgrades
National Demolition Association Safety Committee Chairman, Mike Casbon from ERM, has announced that the association's Safety Committee is nearing completion of the latest upgrade to the organization's Demolition Safety Manual, the bible for safe work practice for the demolition industry around the world. In addition to updating every chapter in the safety manual, the Safety Committee has added sections on high reach demolition machine safety, developed in concert with the National Federation of Demolition Contractors in the United Kingdom; safety when operating a mobile C&D recycling plants; and safe work practice for certain toxic and hazardous substances such as arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and other dangerous heavy metals.
Copies of the upgraded Demolition Safety Manual will be forwarded on CD to every regular member of the association in early summer and available for downloading on the NDA's website.
NDA moves forward on regional training programs
The Education Committee of the board of directors of the NDA has surveyed the association's members about the development of regional training sessions to supplant the National Demolition Academy. Planned for the coming fiscal year, these programs are designed to provide our members with cost-effective ways to train their employees in a variety of demolition-specific areas. Based on survey data gleaned from members in different parts of the U.S. and Canada, the Education Committee will propose a menu of courses to be offered in one and two-day training sessions located in urban centers close to NDA members. The Education Committee will coordinate these programs with the association's other committees to identify instructors, course offerings and locations. These regional training sessions are part of a broad educational outreach to the demolition industry and are being held in concert with the association's Web-based NDA Learning System.